As 2007 dawned, the return of Ash was one set to be especially interesting. Partly since they always come up with a classic single or two that will live long in the memory, but also the departure of Charlotte Hatherley meaning the band going back to their original form as a three-piece increased the anticipation for their university tour.

R13 headed to the
Newcastle Northumbria Universityto see how the new material was shaping up, it was the epic forth coming album title track which stood out. We also noted the absence of ‘Shining Light’, something which would remain on the setlist scrap heap throughout the summer.

When R13 spoke to Mark in May just prior to the album’s release and their Isle of Wight performance, his verdict on the line up change was to say: “Tim likes to show off on the guitar so he's happy to have all the solos back. We're just generally recharged and energized live so there is a certain freshness to the older stuff and going back to the 3-piece has got that power trio thing going on which is how we made it initially.”

And Charlotte on life after Ash? “we haven't seen each other for over a year, we keep gigging at the same time but we're in touch. A lot of the people that work for me work with Ash, same agent, same press guy, there's no animosity but there's also no overwhelming need to see each other, it's just like old school friends really.”

Read the full Charlotte Hatherley interview,including how she embarrassed herself in front of Bono, and what life as a solo artist is like post being in a band.

Back with Ash, ahead of the release of ‘Twilight of the Innocents’ they played the Isle of Wight Festival, sandwiched in between Wolfmother and Kasabian.

Set review is here,that album title track took up the position of set closer and arguably stole the show in terms of impact, but it was how it was introduced which caught the ears of a few excitable members of the music press.

Tim announced that it was the last song from their last album, which naturally meant stories of their imminent split spread to the likes of the NME’s website: but hold your horses folks!

Days later the news broke that The band plan to no longer release music in the traditional album form, instead issuing individual tracks as and when they're ready.

Tim Wheeler explains: "The way people listen to music has changed, with the advent of the download the emphasis has reverted to single tracks. It hasn't helped that most people have forgotten how to make a decent album. I'm constantly disappointed with records I buy.

"I believe our new album is the pinnacle of everything we've done thus far, and I'm proud that this will be remembered as our last album. The future lies elsewhere and we can have a lot of fun by changing things up. It's like the Wild West at the moment, a time to take chances and try out new ideas. When you're tied to the album format, you find yourself waiting six months between finishing a record and releasing it. By leaving this behind we can enter a new phase of spontaneity and creativity. We have our own studio in New York, we can record a track and release it the next day if we feel like it, give
it to people while it's fresh. We're the first band to do this, but I very much doubt we'll be the last.

"We've been one of the best singles bands of the last two decades and we're still younger than a lot of bands on the current scene. I'm excited to push this claim further by dedicating ourselves wholly to the art of the single for the digital age."

The bands final album was released on July 2, review
is here.

Their summer continued with appearances at the Rip Curl Boardmasters Festival in Newquay, and a headline set on the Radio 1 Stage at Reading and
Leedsan event the band still has ambitions of headlining the Main Stage at one day, according to Mark:

“We wanna headline Reading some day, that's one of our biggest dreams. We also have never felt that we've achieved enough commercial success in places like America which if it ever happened would be amazing. We don't shy away from putting the work in so as long as we're hungry for it we'll be plugging away. We are not lying down and dying yet!"

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